Most Inspirational Moment
There were many inspirational moments: seeing the tigers at close range; seeing so many tigers (our group saw 25 different tigers, at 28 sightings); visiting the Taj Mahal and the opportunity to experience a little of the Indian culture.
Thoughts on Group Leader
Himanshu is an outstanding tour leader. He is friendly, professional, efficient, calm, caring and really went “the extra mile” to meet the individual needs of everyone in our group. All of this he successfully did in a calm, professional and positive manner, nothing was too much trouble. His extensive knowledge of the tigers (their names, family history, behaviours etc.) was exceptional. His genuine enthusiasm and passion for the tigers and their preservation, inspired us and added greatly to the whole wildlife experience. Himanshu’s additional understanding of what makes for good wildlife photography was a real bonus.
Advice for Potential Travellers
Good things come to those who wait and to those who get up early! Collectively our group had 28 tiger sightings, the tigers when we encountered them were a sight to behold. Sometimes we had no tiger sightings for a few days, other times a few well camouflaged stripes sleeping in the grass, then we were treated to fabulous displays of a tigers walking on the road past the jeeps, going to the water hole, drinking and taking a bath … awesome!
Usually we had 2 game drives a day, a 5 hr safari in the morning (departing at 5am) and a 3 hr safari before sunset (departing around 3.30pm). In the mornings we were served tea/coffee before departure, then searched for tigers until around 9am. Tiger depending, the jeeps then went to a fenced-in area, for breakfast and a bathroom-stop. Breakfast was a ‘packed-lunch format’ served on a table cloth on the bonnet of the jeep. It was a mixture of western and Indian foods, great. The game drive then continued, after which we returned to the Safari Lodge. We were greeted by hotel staff with face cloths and a cool drink. Afternoons were then free to sit by the pool, sleep, purchase lunch or do whatever folk chose.
After the evening safari dinner was usually served between 7.30pm and 8.30pm. The food at all of the Safari Lodges was varied and delicious.
We used a number of different modes of transport. We travelled by taxis between the three National Parks, the taxis were comfortable and air-conditioned. The jeeps at the parks were great, bring a scarf or neck gaiter for the dust. The Sleeper Train was fun – just don’t expect to get much sleep! The standard of cleanliness and comfort on the train was better than we had expected, one night was perfect. The minibus was comfortable and air conditioned. All drivers were friendly and welcoming. Our local guides in Agra and Delhi were knowledgeable with good English. All in all this India Tiger Safari trip was an excellent experience, to be recommended.